USC Women's Basketball

Dawn Staley apologizes for South Carolina missing the national anthem

Dawn Staley apologizes for missing national anthem

South Carolina beat Virginia 66-56 in the second round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 at Colonial Life Arena on March 18, 2018, in Columbia, SC.
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South Carolina beat Virginia 66-56 in the second round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 at Colonial Life Arena on March 18, 2018, in Columbia, SC.

There wasn't too much buzz when South Carolina's women's basketball team wasn't on the floor during an electric guitar rendition of the national anthem Sunday night at Colonial Life Arena.

But Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley wanted to set the record straight.

After the win against Virginia, she explained a miscommunication had her expecting the anthem to come later in the pregame routine.

"We apologize for missing the national anthem," Staley said. "It was totally a miscommunication on our staff's part. We just thought it was like one of our home games and the timing got all screwed up. Charge it to our heads and not our hearts."

In the past half year, kneeling during the anthem or staying in the locker room became part of a complex web of protests, statements and controversies that embroiled athletes in the NFL and other sports.

Staley had tried to steer clear of such things, but found her team involved in a political controversy when a White House invitation was not forthcoming for her national championship team. It eventually came, but after the season had started, making scheduling unfeasible.

Watch the hyped crowds during Gamecocks women's basketball team's first round of the NCAA tournament at the Colonial Life Arena.

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